Northern Illinois is two points away from being 6-0 heading into their Homecoming game against Buffalo on Saturday (2:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). A one-point loss to Iowa at Soldier Field to begin the season is the only blemish on NIU’s record, and it may be the only thing keeping NIU from running the table this year against a schedule that looks favorable the rest of the way.
Dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch has thrown for 1,255 yards and nine touchdowns, but he’s done just as much damage on the ground. Only four FBS players have more rushing yards than Lynch heading into the week, and no quarterback has ran for more yards than him (that means Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Michigan’s Denard Robinson).
Buffalo comes to DeKalb at 1-4, with their only win over FCS-level Morgan State. The Bulls, though, did hang with Georgia between the hedges a little longer than expected and lost games against UConn and MAC juggernaut Ohio by a touchdown apiece.
There’s a pretty clear road for NIU to reach the MAC Championship and get a shot at Ohio, with the key being Nov. 14’s contest against Toledo in DeKalb.
But to get to that point, NIU has to get by Buffalo first.